V brakes vs Cantilever – Broken Down over Brakes?


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Brake is a must for all of us, You are either a cyclist, thinking of changing brakes or you might be new, wondering which brake is suitable for you. Right? This blog is just for you.

Brakes: If you are a cyclist you know what brake is and its undoubted importance. Brakes will help to stop your cycle faster whenever needed. So, it is very important to consider good brakes for your bikes either you are a pro or just buying one. But be cautious. Not all the brakes are suitable for all bikes as well as your riding style.

There are many various breaks available for bikes. They can be divided into three main categories.

  1. Rim Brakes
  2. Disk Brakes
  3. Drum Brakes

in Rim Brakes, there are many types of different brakes

  • Caliper Brakes
  • U Brakes
  • Cantilever Brakes
  • V Brakes
  • Roller Cam Brakes
  • Hydraulic Rim Brakes

But here, the discussion will be only on Cantilever Brakes and V Brakes. A photo of each is given below.

There is no difference in Cantilever and v brake in shape particularly. Both of them Look like almost similar. Both of them Look like almost similar. But what’s the difference? It’s in the mechanism. You probably have an idea of how these brakes work from the look of the photos above. Yes, you are right. In cantilever, the attached wire to the center of the levers is pulled upward to do the brake. It mainly usages the center pull mechanism. Thus, it is called a Center-pull or traditional Brakes. In V Brake, the attached wire is directly connected to both lever by an adapter and use linear force to do the brake. Thus, V brake is also called Linear Pull brakes.

For your brief understanding, the differences are given is a chart below.

Cantilever vs V brakes


Cantilever Brakes are hard to find nowadays. You might not be able to find any parts in nearby shops.

V Brakes are easy to find and so do the levers of its in nearby shops if you ever brake one.


These brakes are compatible with touring and cyclocross bikes.

V Brakes are compatible with almost every kind of bikes such as Mountain BikesRoad bikesHybrid bikes.


The weight of these brakes is almost the same. Just varies 100 to 300gm in different models.


Cantilever Brakes are a bit difficult to install, adjust, and tuning.

V Brakes are very easy to install, adjust and tuning.

Pad Replacements

Pad replacement is hard for Cantilever Brakes.

V Brakes Pads are too easy to replace.


Cantilever Brakes are good but the brake force is not as strong as V Brakes.

As V Brakes are directly attached to the levers and use linear-pull, the force of its brake is stronger.


Cantilever Brakes are a bit costly but not that much and affordable for everyone.

V Brakes are too cheap.

Which one is better or more suitable?

Surely the question is popping all over your head still now. Which one would be better or more suitable? Which one could be more comfortable for me? Maybe Cantilever Brakes. No, maybe V Brakes. Let us not have a conclusion here.

A little bit further. Let’s go a little further about these brakes’ pros and cons.

Pros of Cantilever Brakes

  • Have long lever arm
  • Doesn’t need any adapter
  • Support in larger rims
  • Works better in muddy and wet roads
  • Lighter

Cons of Cantilever Brakes

  • Difficult to install, maintain and change
  • The brake calipers need to reach all around the tiers
  • Less suitable for narrow rims
  • Tuning is difficult

Pros of V Brakes

  • Increasing leverage force
  • Easy to install, maintain and also change
  • Pad replacing is super easy
  • Smooth brake performance
  • Cheaper price tags
  • Very lighter
  • Parts are abundant in the market.

Cons of V Brakes

  • Need an extra adapter
  • Unsuitable to use in muddy roads
  • Water and Mud reduces its performance
  • Sometimes create wear on the surface of the rim


Now you know a-z of Cantilever Brakes and V Brakes. So what do you need to think about before buying or changing or upgrading?

1. What do you need to think about?

If you are buying a bike with rim brakes, you might have V brakes with it. There is nothing you could do about it. Usually, that’s best suitable for your bike. If you want, you will also be able to change it upon your references by paying a bit more.

2. Which one is easy to change or upgrade?

If you are willing to change the brakes, you simply can’t. Why?

Because you might also need to change your rim or wheelset or some parts in it. Thus, you have to change brakes which will be more suitable without much of changing parts from your wheelset.

3. Which one is Best?

V brakes are the latest build from a cantilever brake. It can provide more power than cantilever brakes and very easy to install on your bike. In a word, V brakes are better than cantilever but almost the same.

Any Tips?

For getting the best brakes your bike, you should at least keep these in your mind.

  • Support and compatibility to your bike
  • Durability
  • Installation
  • Power of the brakes

Final Suggestion

Cantilever Brakes and V Brakes are different but also the same. Before any Suggestion, you should think about which will be more compatible and suitable for your comfort riding. But V brakes are the latest and more preferable to most of the people. So you should go for V brakes that will support your bike and can meet your needs.

Hoping that all your confusion among these brakes is past now. Hopefully, in the future, I will come up with another one of your questions.

Until then Stay home and be safe and ride safe. Enjoy riding.